Evers Justice Tour
A freedom fighter full of determination and vigor, Medgar Wiley Evers led people who believed in freedom to protest for a better way of life for all Mississippians.
Take the Evers Justice Tour, and feel his courage that shines as a beacon of light for all to see.
TWO MISSISSIPPI MUSEUMS
222 North Street
In December 2017, the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opened in celebration of the state’s bicentennial.
The Two Mississippi Museums is a place where Mississippians tell their own stories of the state’s rich and complex history. These stories are told through the many resources from the collection of the Department of Archives and History.
Through their collections, the museums share the life work of Medgar Evers and the impact he contributed to the state of Mississippi but also nationally.
The Medgar Evers story can be found in the Museum of MS History’s gallery Bridging Hardship (1946-Present) and in the MS Civil Rights Museum’s galleries A Closed Society and A Tremor in the Iceberg.
The Mississippi State Fairgrounds
Jefferson at Amite
Starting in 1960, students from Tougaloo College and Campbell College boycotted the segregated state fair. In October 1961, with the support of Medgar, the students boycotted the fair again, and they did so with much success. As they protested, they carried signs that read “No Jim Crow Fair For Us!” and Jackson police officers stood by waiting to use the dogs to disperse the young demonstrators. By the following year, the boycott was 95% effective, and the vast majority of black Mississippians did not attend the fair.
As civil rights activities escalated in late May and early June of 1963, the state fairgrounds was used as a makeshift jail to house thousands of youths and adults who were arrested for demonstrating in the capital city. They were taken by garbage trucks, school buses, and anything available to hold large numbers of people. Additionally, they were held in the livestock pens like cattle. In the days that preceded and followed the murder of Medgar, more than 1,000 young people were arrested and taken to the fairgrounds.
Mrs. Evers recently expressed that every time she passes the fairgrounds, she is reminded of how the police officers treated those who were detained. “It was appalling how they would mix food in trash cans for people to eat and spit in it. That is something I will never forget.” Due to the horrible conditions, the Mississippi State Fairgrounds is remembered as being like a “concentration camp.”
Old Jackson Municipal Public Library
301 North State Street
In early March 1961, Medgar and Tougaloo Chaplain John Mangrum met with members of the Tougaloo College NAACP to discuss ways in which they could engage in nonviolent direct action in the capital city. To reveal that the segregated library did not offer the same quality reading materials that the “white-only” library did, the Jackson Municipal Public Library was the chosen place of demonstration.
Jackson Woolworth Sit-In
100 E Capitol St # 2
On May 28th, 1963, students, and faculty from Tougaloo College staged a sit-in at Woolworth’s lunch counter downtown Jackson. This was the most violently attacked sit-in during the 1960s.
Greyhound Bus Station
219 N. Lamar Street
On May 28, 1961, a Greyhound bus with nine Freedom Riders aboard arrived here, the third group of Riders into Jackson. The first two came on Trailways buses on May 24. That summer 329 people were arrested in Jackson for integrating public transportation facilities. Convicted on "breach of peace" and jailed, most refused bail and were sent to the state penitentiary. Their protest worked. In September 1961, the federal government mandated that segregation in interstate transportation end.
On September 23, the Interstate Commerce Commission mandated an end to segregation in all bus and train stations and airports. The victorious Freedom Riders left a legacy of historic changes, proving the value of nonviolent direct action, providing a template for future campaigns, and helping jump-start the movement in Mississippi.
Farish Street District
Farish Street was once a vibrant area and one of the hubs for the black community in the capital city, particularly before integration. It was a commercial and entertainment district that also was the home of houses of worship that catered to the spiritual needs of the black community. Because this was the home of so many black-owned and –operated businesses, many of these black entrepreneurs were very active in the movement and were able to do so free of economic pressure. High-profile individuals from civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., to President Barack Obama have visited Farish Street, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Although it doesn’t necessarily reflect or even suggest a historic past, efforts are being made to revitalize this area.
NAACP First Office
507 ½ North Farish Street
On January 23, 1955, Medgar and Myrlie opened the NAACP office at this location (507 ½ North Farish Street). Medgar was only 29 years old at the time, but based on the leadership he exhibited while working with voter registration and challenging Jim Crow in the Mississippi Delta, he was destined to be an effective leader.
John R Lynch Street
Named after John Roy Lynch, Mississippi’s first black congressman who was elected to office during the Reconstruction period (1866-1877), Lynch Street – like Farish Street – served as a hub for black life during the 1940s through the 1970s.
Masonic Temple — Stringer Lodge
1072 Lynch Street
The Masonic Temple is often referred to as the “cathedral of the Mississippi civil rights movement.” A number of civil rights-related activities took place in this building ranging from mass meetings to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s state convention in the summer of 1964.
The COFO State Office
1017 Lynch Street
Opened by Jackson State University in 2011, the COFO Civil Rights Education Center honors the past, deals with issues of the present, and offers hope for the future. Since its opening, the COFO Center has had the privilege of hosting visitors from around the world. Although it is dedicated to preserving the past, the COFO Center is committed to challenging and cultivating young minds and fostering the development of future leaders and community builders. Ultimately, it is our hope that our visitors, regardless of their background, are empowered through this enriching experience.
The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) was established in 1961 as an umbrella organization to unify and meet the needs of an increasing presence of civil rights organizations in Mississippi, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a host of local organizations. In 1963, COFO made 1017 John R. Lynch Street its home, and this office served as the state headquarters for the Mississippi movement. Making voter registration and education a top priority for the Mississippi movement, COFO was instrumental in organizing the 1963 Freedom Vote, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project.
Medgar & Myrlie Evers Home National Monument
2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive
The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, also known as Medgar Evers House, is a historic house museum at 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive within the Medgar Evers Historic District in Jackson, Mississippi. Medgar Evers, the first NAACP field secretary, and prominent civil rights activist and organizer, was assassinated at his home in 1963. This private home – now a National Historic Landmark – has been turned into a museum and restored to look as it did when the Evers family lived there. The property is now managed and operated by the National Park Service.